Doctor Kime Says Close the Schools

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 2, 1903

Doctor Kime Says Close the Schools

Spread of Diphtheria Cannot be Stopped Otherwise, He Says.

Record of All the Cases

Weakness in the Quarantine Methods Shown by Increase in Cases.

The continuance of the diphtheria epidemic in Fort Dodge has given an uneasy feeling to all parents that something is wrong in the handling of the cases somewhere, the rigidity of the quarantines established being suspected chiefly. It is a difficult matter to get people to appreciate the responsibility that all owe to the public in preventing the spread of contagion. The rules of the health officers, if followed strictly, would soon stop the spread of diphtheria but while the general public is careless and indifferent it is very likely that with the start given in the last three months there will be more cases and perhaps a good many more. Doctor Kime has investigated the record of cases of diphtheria which have already occurred and believes that there is more danger of contagion from keeping the schools open than in any other way. In fact he says that the schools must be closes or the situation will become very serious. His communication given below, will be read with general interest.

Editor Messenger: – The true situation as to diphtheria in the city at the present time is this:

During September, beginning September 7, there were three cases.

During the month of October there were sixteen cases.

During the month of November, there were twenty-six cases.

On the first day of December, three new cases were quarantined.

This makes a total of forty-eight cases since September 7. Of these, seven have died, or at the rate of about fifteen per hundred cases. There are now under quarantine twenty-three cases, of these perhaps three or four will die. The total mortality of the present epidemic, including those that will probably die among those now sick will be in the neighborhood of twenty per cent.

During the past ten days, fourteen new cases have been quarantined. If this rate holds good for December, as it probably will, the total for December will be forty-five. If the pace set by the first day of December is carried out for the entire month, as it will not (missing word) likely to be, the month of December will show ninety new cases.

(Editor’s note: There was more to the article, a list of cases from Sept. 7, 1903, to the time of the article.)

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